Guide­lines ap­proved for med­i­cal care, re­form

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHANG YUE and HU YONGQI Con­tact the writ­ers at zhangyue@chi­ and huy­ongqi@chi­

New guide­lines to pro­vide greater com­pre­hen­sive med­i­cal care na­tion­wide and to deepen re­form to cover ur­ban and ru­ral res­i­dents alike with universal health­care were ap­proved on Wed­nes­day by a State Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing presided over by Premier Li Ke­qiang.

Both guide­lines are part of the coun­try’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20). Health­care re­mains one of the gov­ern­ment’s top con­cerns.

Li has stressed re­peat­edly that “health is the root of peo­ple’s hap­pi­ness”, and he has of­ten re­it­er­ated the im­por­tance of med­i­cal re­form.

Ac­cord­ing to the guide­line, greater ef­forts will be made in ma­jor dis­ease con­trol and treat­ment. The gov­ern­ment will en­cour­age a greater fo­cus on pre­ven­tion of ma­jor chronic dis­eases as well as ma­jor con­ta­gious and men­tal ill­nesses.

We need to con­cen­trate on ar­eas that peo­ple are most con­cerned about.” Premier Li Ke­qiang

The gov­ern­ment will also boost med­i­cal com­pe­tence in lower-tier cities and re­gions and en­cour­age a wider al­lo­ca­tion of med­i­cal re­sources. Ad­di­tion­ally, ap­proval pro­ce­dures for new and ur­gently needed medicines will be sim­pli­fied, and more in­cen­tives will be pro­vided to fam­i­lies with two chil­dren.

The guide­line on deep­en­ing med­i­cal re­form, also ap­proved on Wed­nes­day, aims to fully es­tab­lish a com­pre­hen­sive sys­tem for pub­lic med­i­cal ser­vices, health­care and med­i­cal in­sur­ance.

“In terms of med­i­cal re­form, we need to con­cen­trate on ar­eas that peo­ple are most con­cerned about, and work harder in re­duc­ing high qual­ity med­i­cal re­sources con­cen­tra­tion in ma­jor cities, and make them more avail­able to the pub­lic,” Premier Li said.

The guide­lines tar­get the most ur­gent needs of pa­tients and will im­prove the coun­try’s med­i­cal ser­vices if they can be prop­erly car­ried out, said Chen Yum­ing, a pro­fes­sor of pub­lic health at Sun Yat-sen Univer­sity in Guangzhou, capital of Guang­dong prov­ince.

Ad­di­tion­ally, in­te­gra­tion of re­gional med­i­cal re­im­burse­ment is im­por­tant so mi­grants can have more bills re­im­bursed when they are treated some­where other than their home­towns, Chen said.

To bridge the dis­par­ity in ser­vices be­tween ma­jor hos­pi­tals and those in less-de­vel­oped ar­eas, an in­cen­tive sys­tem should be in­tro­duced to en­cour­age doc­tors to go to less-de­vel­oped ar­eas and stay there by rais­ing their in­come and show­ing greater re­spect, Chen said.

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